Guide to Languedoc, France: best vineyards and wine tours
The best wine resorts and wineries in Languedoc, France, including Château Les Carrasses, Château Capitoul and Vin en Vacances.
With ancient Cathar castles, the lofty Pyrenees and a coastline strung with fishing villages turned gastro hotspots, the Languedoc’s revitalised wine industry is the icing on the regional cake. We’re staying at the stylish Château Les Carrasses, a 19th-century castle turned wine resort where a collection of chic apartments and villas are surrounded by acres of carefully tended vines. At the chateau’s brasserie we try the Château’s own wines, including a fresh but rich chardonnay with hints of pineapple and citrus.
A tour of another winery, Château Capitoul with specialist local operator Vin en Vacances includes a guided tasting on a balcony overlooking the beautiful La Clape, a terroir so unique it has its own sub-appellation. The Rocaille (€11 per bottle) is an outstanding, full-bodied red with notes of pepper and strawberry.
All Les Carasses’ suites come with kitchens so it's well worth exploring the local markets. Narbonne’s Les Halles is a must-visit: pick up some fat lucques olives at Le Royaume de l’Olive and a bottle of the region’s zesty, bone-dry picpoul. When you’re shopped out, order a bavette steak (fresh from the neighbouring butchers) with chips and salad (€12) at the market’s character-full in-house restaurant Chez Bebelle.
Suites at Chateau Les Carrasses start from €125 per night (lescarrasses.com). Flights from Luton or Gatwick to Montpellier from £85 return (easyJet.com), and from Bournemouth, East Midlands, Prestwick, Liverpool or Stansted to Carcassonne from £53 return (Ryanair.com). More info: sunfrance.com
Written in October 2014